An “inspirational teacher" and a volunteer student coach from the same college have both won national sport awards.

Students and staff at New City College, Epping Forest can perform double celebrations after it was announced that student Ria Lee and teacher Phil Heseltine had both won National AoC (Association of Colleges) Sport Awards.

Ria was presented with the AoC Volunteer Coach of the Year for her volunteering both in and out of college and her work as an inclusion ambassador to run sport sessions for SEND students.

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Ria’s tutor Sam Marsh said: “Ria is an outstanding young voluntary sports coach who shows great passion for the industry and is always looking to help support people both in and out of sport.

"She has had her own barriers to overcome in her life and at times she finds things a struggle, however, she never lets anyone down and always finds a way to complete her voluntary roles regardless.”

Ria has helped around 20 students with additional needs receive weekly sport and activity sessions that they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.

The second award was won by sport lecturer Phil Heseltine, who was inducted into the AoC Staff Hall of Fame for going above and beyond to give students the very best education and support possible.

Mr Heseltine started working at New City College in Epping Forest in 2017 and has overhauled the Tottenham Hotspur Development programme.

Fellow sport lecturer Jess Murphy said: “Phil goes above and beyond to support each and every student, even outside of working hours to ensure they are getting the best education they can.

"He is seen as someone to seek guidance from – both by students and staff! Despite the challenges of managing a huge course with numerous students, Phil always has a smile on his face and is happy to help anyone with any kind of problem.”

It’s the first time the college has ever been nominated for the awards and so it is delighted to win two awards in one year.